TEXAS LEGAL WATCHDOGS PRAISE CORNYN PROPOSAL TO REIN IN FRIVOLOUS PATENT LAWSUITS
Austin, Texas – Citizens Against Lawsuit Abuse (CALA) organizations across Texas today praised U.S. Sen. John Cornyn for filing the Patent Abuse Reduction Act, a measure that will crack down on frivolous patent legislation.
“This proposal is a breath of fresh air for Texas,” said Diane Davis, executive director of East Texans Against Lawsuit Abuse (ETALA). “Patent trolls have abused our local courts for years. We are thrilled to see our leaders take this issue seriously and offer real solutions that Texans support.”
Davis noted that excessive patent litigation in Texas’ Marshall Division earned East Texas a spot on the Watch List of the 2011/2012 Judicial Hellholes report issued by the American Tort Reform Association. The annual report identifies “Judicial Hellholes” across the country where the laws are applied in an unfair and unbalanced manner. The report called the Eastern District court in Marshall the “center of the patent litigation universe” noting that between 2002 and 2010, the district saw nearly a ten-fold increase in patent lawsuit filings.
“Patent trolls do exactly as their name implies: they aggressively file lawsuits to enforce a patent against an alleged infringer, often with no intention to use the patent to manufacture or market the product themselves,” according to Jennifer Harris with Citizens Against Lawsuit Abuse of Central Texas (CALACTX). “Their targets are often innovative and successful companies, and the lawsuits typically result in a huge pay out for the patent troll while costing jobs and saddling local courts with frivolous lawsuits,” Harris said.
Febe Zepeda, executive director with Rio Grande Valley CALA (RGVCALA), added, “The idea that parts of the Lone Star State have fallen prey to such an egregious form of lawsuit abuse should leave a sour taste in the mouths of all Texans. Sen. Cornyn’s legislation is a step in the right direction to remedy the abuse of our courts.”
According to media reports, Cornyn’s legislation should put an end to some of the more common tactics that patent trolls employ to wear down their victims to the point that settling out of court becomes preferable to drawn-out, costly litigation. For example, it would force plaintiffs to spell out their claims in detail from the get-go and prevent them from hiding behind shell companies. See “Senator Cornyn targets patent trolls with new bill,” and “Sen. John Cornyn Joins the Fight Against Patent Trolls With New Bill” for information on just how critical this problem is.
“Senator Cornyn’s legislation will allow some of America’s most innovative companies to breathe a sigh of relief, knowing that policy makers are working to stem the tide of patent abuse throughout the country,” said Garry Bradford, chairman of Bay Area Citizens Against Lawsuit Abuse. “BACALA and all of the CALA groups across Texas strongly support this legislation.”
With more than 25,000 supporters, Citizens Against Lawsuit Abuse (CALA) is a community-based, grassroots movement dedicated to educating the public about the cost and consequences of lawsuit abuse, challenging those who abuse our legal system, and returning common sense and fairness to our courts. Launched in Texas’ Rio Grande Valley in 1990, the CALA movement has spread throughout the state, with chapters in the Rio Grande Valley, East Texas, Central Texas, and Corpus Christi, and across the country.
Source: Citizens Against Lawsuit Abuse